Tawny Owl

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse30 Sep 2013

She sits in a spindly lane-side tree,
Plump and delightfully pompous,
Chest feathers aristocratically ruffled.
Her brown mottled plumage

Is as neat and cuddly as a cat,
And her doze-narrowed eyes

Shine blackly into the spring twilight;
I dare not breathe...

A rude aggressive chatter
Of a chaffinch breaks the spell.
Startled fully awake, the owl’s eyes
Open to a penetrating expression

Of human righteous outrage:
A duchess with a pinched bottom,
She gathers up her dignity like a shawl
And flies silently into the coming night.